Grief and the Holidays

Rockwell-freedom from wantsmallcropThose who mourn often wish they could avoid this time of year. They wish they could start a nap before Thanksgiving and wake up in January.

The holidays create a collision between cultural expectations of celebration and the personal reality of sorrow.

If your loved one died during the holiday season, there is the added weight of the death anniversary on top of holiday expectations.

You may move back and forth from being present in the moment to sorrow for those you miss.

Celebrate with gratitude and gifts those you love who are present. Honor your yearning for those you love who are gone. Be compassionate with yourself when these days are challenging.

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Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, specializing in grief counseling. For 35 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families in his private practice. Dr. O'Malley has recently published a book, "Getting Grief Right" about grief recovery.

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